EDU 6655/ Module Eight- Cognition, Morality, and Identity

According to Moshman (2010), rationality is the ability to imagine and consider the perspective of others, therefore moral rationality is an individual’s process of empathizing with another in tandem with considering the and acting with concern for the rights and welfare of others. Rational identity is the process of an individual identifying oneself as continually forming new beliefs relative to their environment, rather than attaching to a static self-identification. Finally, moral identity also requires non-attachment to a fixed sense of moral identity, but is the process of continually defining oneself as a moral agent, and acting in a manner that demonstrates respect for the welfare of others.

I think that Moshman’s theory is helpful in considering the various psychological elements that contribute to youth, and adults forming positive identities. I am not sure how applicable this theory is to the early primary age I will be teaching. I might be planting the seed for the concepts with social/emotional curricula that focus on cultivating and growing empathy and strong sense of self. If one considers Erikson’s age stages for first grade, I will be supporting children during a developmental period where they are developing a sense of competency, or sense that their work is meaningful. So, I think this is a good time to lay groundwork for empathetic practice, identification of choices that are morally sound. I hope to be teaching Second Step again next year (I am not sure if the school I will teaching in uses this curriculum) because I found this curriculum to be highly engaging, and have many built-in opportunities to reinforce the lessons throughout the day with music, puppets, and scripts. I think that the first grade students in general are more reflective about social/emotional learning than a kindergarten student. In other words, I think a first-grader is more likely to build social/emotional curricula into their subjective experience and use it in the development of rationality.

Moshman, D. (2010). Adolescent rationality and development: Cognition, morality, and identity (3rd edition). Retrieved from

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